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As you have probably heard, The Story of Electronics is out!  Narrated by Annie Leonard, and made by the fine folks who brought us the incredibly popular Story of Stuff video, the sequel does a great job of highlighting the all too common life cycle of many of our electronics, like computers, cell phones, and televisions. Thankfully, The Story of Electronics also sheds light on many of the hidden consequences of our voracious electronics appetite: safety of workers, recyclers, and the environment.

The Story of Electronics shows that most of our electronics are “designed for the dump” rather than for a long life, reuse, and recycling. Annie encourages consumers to be aware of the dangers associated with their electronic purchases and demand extended producer responsibility from the high-tech companies and responsible producer takeback programs by our policy makers!

Here in Oregon, we already have a state producer takeback law, requiring all manufacturers, like Dell and HP, who want to sell to Oregon consumers, to take back consumer electronics when they reach the end of their life cycle. So far, 23 states have passed laws mandating some kind of e-waste recycling program, and seven more have introduced laws in 2010. However, recycling rates are still low – a fact that could be partly attributed to the disposable culture (i.e. “Design for the Dump” = selling lots of stuff) aggravated by the electronics industry’s practices.

So check out the video and help change this destructive culture by sharing it with your friends and family on Facebook, via e-mail, and on your other social networking sites. Also, see The Story of Electronics and the Electronics Takeback Coalition for ways to do more.

Lauren Ice
ELAW Office Manager

Annie Leonard appeared on the Colbert Report to promote her new book, The Story of Stuff

Annie Leonard admits her online short-film sensation, The Story of Stuff, doesn’t say it all. Luckily, she has written a book that tells us everything the original 20-minute video left out about the production, consumption, and disposal chain that we are used to in America.  The Story of Stuff, the book goes into much more detail about the stages of the materials economy and provides examples from around the world.

This book also provides solutions and signs of hope. Annie writes:

I share stories of traveling in Bangladesh, South Africa, India and other countries, visiting the factories where our stuff is made and the dumps where it is dumped. I share stories of pollution as personal as my own toxic body levels to the site of the largest chemical industrial disaster ever –Bhopal, India. And I share why, in spite of all the dire environmental data emerging every day, I am full of hope that we can turn things around.

To promote the new book, Annie made a guest appearance on Comedy Central’s, The Colbert Report (look for her around 16:00).

After joking that Americans are winning — we’re beating the Europeans on how much we shop — Stephen Colbert encourages everyone to buy the book and don’t throw it away. When you’re done, you can donate it to your local library, share it with friends, or even compost it!

Annie just wants everyone to show more appreciation and reverence for our stuff – that includes where it comes from, where it will end up, and who it may affect along the way.

ELAW Partner Annie Leonard is at it again!

Her video “The Story of Stuff” is legendary for its simple explanation of why consumerism is killing the planet.

Now, she takes on “Cap and Trade” and explains, using simple graphics and easy to understand language, why cap and trade is bad policy.

Click and watch it — and send it to your friends!

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